Sochi spoil Torpedo’s return to RPL

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RPL Matchday 1
Torpedo Moscow 1-3 FC Sochi
Sunday 17 July, Arena Khimki

Goals: Torpedo - Drkusic (OG 51); Sochi - Tsallagov (35), Sarveli (37), Melkadze (90+4)
Man of the Match: Artem Makarchuk (Sochi)

Seven years past since last Torpedo match in RPL, and finally the Black-Whites made their comeback. As Luzhniki stadium is unavailable for RPL matches till September, team hosted their first opponent at Arena Khimki. Sochi came to Torpedo with new coaching staff, as Aleksandr Tochilin appointed as head coach again, and Vadim Garanin became senior coach due to lack of necessary license.

Aleksandr Borodyuk, who led Torpedo to another promotion, got several new faces, especially David Karaev and Maksim Turischev started as attacking duo. Turischev was closer to open the score, but his shot was denied by Denis Adamov. Sochi also refreshed their forward position with Vladislav Sarveli replacing Mateo Cassierra, who moved to Zenit. Former Krylia Sovetov striker missed his first chance, as Vitaly Botnar saved the ball in the bottom corner.

But hosts’ goaltender had nothing to do with Ibrahim Tsallagov, when Sochi captain sent the ball between Botnar’s legs. Just two minutes past, and Sochi ran into another attack, this time Sarveli finished perfectly from Artem Makarchuk’s assist.

Next goal was also scored by Sochi player, but it was Vanya Drkusic’s own goal after he tipped Mukhammad Sultonov’s cross. Torpedo’s top scorer in the last FNL season was hot after the break, as he tried to smash the volley, but missed left corner a little. One-goal difference was kept until the added time, and Georgy Melkadze put the third goal into the hosts’ net to get three points for last season runners-up.

Next RPL fixtures: Saturday 23 July - CSKA vs Sochi; Sunday 24 July - Dynamo vs Torpedo

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